Aronian Eliminated in Third Round World Cup
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After yesterday's result it wasn't a huge surprise, but it came as a shock anyway: Levon Aronian, the top-seeded player in the tournament, was eliminated from the World Cup in Tromsø on Sunday. Armenia's number one player was held to a draw by Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia, who will now meet the winner of the match Vitiugov-Morozevich. Alexander Grischuk of Russia, another favorite, managed to come back as he defeated Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru also levelled the score in his match with Anish Giri of the Netherlands. Besides Tomashevsky, Hikaru Nakamura, Boris Gelfand, Gata Kamsky, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Peter Svidler have qualified for the fourth round. Besides Aronian, Leinier Dominguez, Teimour Radjabov, Alexander Moiseenko, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Baskaran Adkhiban had to say goodbye to the tournament.
Levon Aronian needed quite a few tissues to dry his nose during his second game against Evgeny Tomashevsky. Armenia's number one (and the world's number two) grandmaster has suffered from a cold from the start in Tromsø ("I was in a terrible rain in Berlin," he told a reporter) and this might well be one of the reasons for his early exit at the World Cup. However, another reason is his opponent, who simply played very strongly.
Having to win with Black, Aronian played the Snake Benoni and instead of trying to steer the game into more quiet waters, Evgeny Tomashevsky played the principled move 8.d6. Then, at move 19, he played another principled move: a knight sac on h7!
"I wanted to play chess. I not so often play against such a great opponent, so I wanted to play sharp chess, not to make a draw. Besides, the position forced me to make difficult decisions because Levon played a provocative opening," said Tomashevsky, who got just what he needed out of the attack: a perpetual. According to computer engines Aronian should have tried to get his knight into play with 24...Nb4 or 28...Nb4.
Alexander Grischuk, another favorite in Tromsø, needed to win as well and he managed; after 6.5 hours and 154 moves Le Quang Liem finally resigned in a rook ending. Grischuk started with a quiet opening and showed great persistence and fighting spirit in this game.
Julio Granda Zuniga also succeeded in what was almost considered a mission impossible: beating Anish Giri, who had been so solid thus far, with Black. The Peruvian grandmaster played the Old Indian and the middlegame quickly resembled a g3-King's Indian. Granda gradually outplayed his 27 years younger opponent and decided the game with a tactic on the queenside.
A remarkable game was Teimour Radjabov vs. Peter Svidler. Despite the fact that he had won the first game, Svidler allowed a very sharp middlegame where he sacrificed a full rook! "There is no real theory in this Anti-Grünfeld. We're creating it," said the grandmaster from St. Petersburg, who saw the even stronger 26... Rxd2 27. Qa8+ Kh7 28. Rxd2 Nf1+! but missed White's 28.b3 move in the game. Luckily for him, the resulting ending was still equal.
Hikaru Nakamura was the only player to beat his opponent 2-0. On Sunday the American was happy with a draw and went for the Exchange variation against Baskaran Adhiban's King's Indian, but when he got the chance to play a promising exchange sacrifice, Nakamura was in full control.
commentary with Susan Polgar and Lawrence Trent
Fabiano Caruana, now the top seed of the event, drew twice with Vladimir Malakhov, and so did Vladimir Kramnik against Alexander Areshchenko. Seven matches saw two draws; Alexander Morozevich and Nikita Vitiugov split the move already after 13 moves. This means that there will be ten tiebreak matches on Monday: Vitiugov-Morozevich, Mamedyarov-Wei Yi, Le Quang Liem-Grischuk, Karjakin-Eljanov, Andreikin-Dreev, Malakhov-Caruana, Granda Zuniga-Giri, Kramnik-Areshchenko, Ivanchuk-Kryvoruchko and Dubov-Korobov.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 3 Results
|Hammer, Jon Ludvig||2605||0||½||0.5|
|Dominguez Perez, Leinier||2757||0||½||0.5|
|Le, Quang Liem||2702||1||0||1|
|Granda Zuniga, Julio E||2664||0||1||1|
For the next round, these are the pairings:
Tomashevsky - Vitiugov/Morozevich
Kamsky - Mamedyarov/Wei Yi
Le Quang Liem/Grischuk - Svidler
Karjakin/Eljanov - Andreikin/Dreev
Malakhov/Caruana - Granda Zuniga/Giri
Gelfand - Vachier-Lagrave
Kramnik/Areshchenko - Ivanchuk/Kryvoruchko
Nakamura - Dubov/Korobov
Held every two years, the World Cup is part of the World Championship cycle. The winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. The World Cup takes place August 10th-September 3rd in Tromsø, Norway. Photos by Paul Truong courtesy of the official website; games via TWIC.